November 13, 2010

On Being 40 Weeks Pregnant (Again)

Here I am again. 40 weeks (plus one day) pregnant. It feels weird to have two possible due dates.

Thursday was a weird day. It started off with a Facebook message from an old high school friend cautioning me about avoiding induction. Yes, it contained a horror story. I know her intentions were good, but it bugged me. It bugged me a lot.

I should mention that the night before, I went out with some members from my moms group. They were, of course, all aghast at the fact that I'm still pregnant. Towards the end of the night I was grilled about when I would be induced. The conversation went something like this:

"So when are you going to be induced?"

"I'm not."

"What do you mean? What's your cut off date?"

"I don't have one."

"How can you not have one? What if the baby doesn't want to come out?"

"He'll come out."

"Well, my son didn't. I made it to 10 cm and was pushing and then they discovered that my pelvis was too small for him to fit through. There's no way I could have pushed him out."

"Uh huh." (said while fighting the urge to roll my eyes)

Here's the thing. I'm not a doctor. I've never pretended to be one. But I have heard this from so many women that after awhile it really does make me want to roll my eyes. How could so many women all of a sudden have inadequate pelvises? While the world has changed a lot, our bodies really haven't. And it's actually really rare for a woman to have a pelvis that is too small to give birth. It is ridiculous that so many women believe they cannot give birth vaginally.

Well, I don't believe it.

So yeah. My headspace was all off Thursday because of those things. But I talked to Roy. I talked to my friend Emily. I talked to my doula and my midwife and my mom. All sane people who support me and don't doubt that I can do this, dammit, and that I don't need drugs to get things going. Having those conversations confirmed my suspicion that yes, I need to drop off the face of the planet for awhile. Or at least just stop going on Facebook. So that's what I decided to do, take a little break from social networking, avoid the negativity, and see how I feel.

I've been off Facebook since Thursday night and am doing a lot better. Obviously I've made the decision to keep blogging, but that's because I enjoy it. (And people can stalk me on here if they so wish. Hi, everyone!)

I don't really mind when people ask about the baby coming. It's human nature to be excited and to want the scoop, and frankly I love that people are happy for us and care about what's happening. I just was getting depressed by the sheer amount of misinformation out there and the lack of faith that people have in a woman's ability to give birth. I get that there are exceptions; I understand that things go wrong; I know that birth is inherently risky - BUT so is everything in life. I'm so tired of the fear and the paranoia. It was really wearing on me and causing me to doubt my body's ability to birth this kid. I hate that, especially because I know that I can do it.

So yes, I'm still pregnant. This may be our last weekend as a family of three, or maybe it won't be. I really have no idea, and I think that's perfectly okay. Now if only the rest of the world felt the same....


inflammatory writ said...
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inflammatory writ said...
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Jessica said...

You are my blogging hero! I have been following your blog for several weeks but haven't had time to comment. I greatly respect and admire your decision to take your body and your second birth into your own hands. I'm so proud of you for writing the letter to La Leche League. I too am disheartened by the misinformation out there about birth.

I'm currently 32 weeks along with my first baby and just finished a Bradley class with my husband. He is himself a doctor, and even HE has had his eyes opened to and now acknowledges the over-medicalization of birth in America.

I believe that like all mammals, our babies will come out when it is time. Induction is greatly overused. I also don't understand the "pelvis is too small" claim. We have ligaments that stretch so that our pelvis COMES APART for birth. Plus, I've learned that it is possible to try different positions to get a "stuck" baby out. I'm most baffled by the women out there who are having scheduled c-sections because they've been diagnosed with a "too small pelvis" before they even go into labor. There is no way to know that!!!!!!!

I know we are not supposed to make women feel bad about their various choices, but why is it more controversial these days to give birth naturally than to have an elective induction or c-section? I'm tired of tiptoeing around the mis-informed majority.

So, thank you for your bravery! Thank you for your blog! I truly wish you the best in your upcoming birth (which may have already happened by the time you read this). I'm confident that you and your body and your baby can get the job done without intervention!

I look forward reading more of your blog.